Sustainable Solutions – Smart Homes

The group Design for the Other 90 is a network devoted to creating intelligent solutions for the impoverished population all over the world. After reading through their displayed “Solutions” for poor of the third world, one struck my attention…

Architectural model of a house designed by the team

Architectural model of a house designed by the team

The “Make a House Intelligent” innovation isn’t simply a product being offered to those in need of living assistance. But rather, a design concept for homes in Mexico. Instead of the common make-shift home (“colonias populares”), an architect group is offering a design concept for self-made homes. They utilize the materials available in the region and show residents of settlements such as Chimalhuacán near Mexico City how to build homes which allow more airflow, lighting, and sustainability than the usual construction.

What makes this project stand out to me is its accessibility. Many charity groups create unreachable and unrealistic goals for communities and, more often than not, fizzle out after making a slight impact in a given region. “Make a House Intelligent” will have the ability to generate positive social change because it works within the perimeters of the local culture – inspiring change rather than forcing it.

For more information on Arturo Ortiz Struck and the urban architecture research firm Taller Territorial de Mexico, the forces that started to project and organized workshops for families in Chimalhuacán to build ‘intelligent’ homes, please visit their website (


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